Monday, August 10, 2009

Getting the Scoop: a Fresh Model for Media?

As social critics are singing the dirge of traditional newspapers, new media is emerging in unlikely and innovative ways. From citizen reporting in the form of personal video clips on sites like to the blogging power player Huffington Post, politically inclined Americans have an ever-expanding array of media outlets to choose from.

Now, the Facebook generation has its own avenue for critical coverage and analysis of compelling current events; Scoop44, launched in May, is a self-operated online news outlet created, edited, and written exclusively by young people. The site, whose name refers to the 44th administration currently in power, covers a variety of topics, from Washington politics to internet culture to race in America, across a range of platforms including traditional articles and video blogs. Scoop44 was created by Harvard undergrad Alexander Heffner, and most of the site's staff are still in college or even high school, an antidote to the image of weathered journalists that pervades traditional media.

One striking aspect of the site is the "change detectives" section, in which the young writers analyze current news as it pertains to the Millenial generation, and keep a critical eye on political promises and how they play out in reality. As the rapidly expanding (and in some cases disintegrating) field of communications continues to evolve, Scoop44 will certainly be on the radar as an example of cutting-edge reporting and commentary. Check out this interview with the publication's president: